August 06, 2008

Day 10 An Answered Prayer-Palmyra

East Coast Trip: Day 10

After spending over a week at so many incredible American History sites; where so many great events & sacrifices & miracles took place, now we were here, where we would see why those things occurred. We recognize that the Lord, did indeed, influence the course of events so that this country was established in such a way that the Gospel could be restored. And not just restored, but where it could grow and flourish.

We started our visit in Palmyra at the temple. We were able to go and do baptisms again. And again had
a special experience.
The temple workers gave us a little tour and showed us the large window inside that overlooks the Sacred Grove ~ the window that will forever be fondly referred to as the "Hinckley Window."

This is the Smith "frame" house. They moved into this home when Joseph was 17 years old. Joseph lived in this home when he received the Golden Plates. We saw the places where he often hid the plates as mobs barged into the home, turning over tables and breaking chairs insisting that "Joe give up the gold"! But the plates miraculously stayed safe and hidden.

The Sacred Grove truly is a reverent and sacred place. We found our own secluded spot, read our scriptures and shared testimonies. It was a sweet spiritual experience for us.

I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.” (Joseph Smith History 1:25)

We loved the Hill Cumorah. They have a beautiful new Visitor's Center now and like other temple Visitor Centers there is a large Christus. At the temple Visitor Centers the Christus is always surrounded by a mural, on the walls and ceiling, of the universe with stars & planets & swirling solar systems. Which is completely and appropriately perfect. But here in Palmyra the Christus is surrounded by a mural of trees, a grove of trees. It was a touching reminder that our Savior is not only the God of the universe, who created the heavens and earth and all things which are and He is all powerful and all mighty but He is also a very personal and loving God who came to this small grove of trees in upstate New York to answer the prayer of a humble 14 year old boy. He is a loving and personal God who can and will answer our prayers as well.
We read some scriptures from the Old Testament that prophecy of the Gathering of Israel and the 2nd Coming of the Messiah. I absolutely love how wonderfully and incredibly everything is
perfectly connected. It is reassuring to know that when the Lord promises to do something, He not only does it, but He does it exactly the way He said He would. I love that our Heavenly Father is indeed in charge and He does fulfill His promises!

Big, fat, juicy Burgers at the Chill & Grill for lunch and the yummiest and biggest scoops of ice cream we have ever seen for dessert!

Next, the Grandin Printshop where the first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed. We found President & Sister Pinegar there. Ed Pinegar~one of my favorite BYU professors! I just love him. It was so fun! We had an
absolutely delightful tour and visit with them. We laughed and talked about all kinds of things for a long time. He had some great basketball stories. But then he put his arm around Jaren and said "As great as basketball is, and it is great! Nothing is better than being a missionary!" Then he told us some great missionary stories. He took our address and promised Jaren he would send him a copy of his newest missionary book which arrived shortly after we got home. We could have stayed the rest of the day and just visited with them but we had to go on...

Great things occurred here, at the Peter Whitmer home. Most importantly on April 6, 1830 the church was officially organized. It was humbling to stand in that little log cabin and imagine that small gathering of Saints and to think how from such humble beginnings the church has grown into 13 million members around the world today!

How blessed we are to have been here and to feel the great spirit that permeates each of these sacred places. Our testimonies of our Savior and of the restoration of this Gospel have truly been strengthened.

End of day 10

1 comment:

  1. of all the places we went on our trip the feeling i had in the sacred grove stays with me still, and is more vivid than any other site we saw.

    so glad we were able to go there.